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Can Pastors Only ‘Hope’ Donald Trump Will Turn Out Better Than Hillary?

We hear pastors suggest we get behind the nominee for the sake of the country. They argue Clinton is so terrible, a vote for Trump will at least stop the bleeding. Then, these pastors usually add: “We hope.”

It is remarkable witnessing the number of pastoral voices crying out today, their loud encouragements frequent and desperate. Where were they in condemning Obama and his terrible policies? When did they encourage voters to vote against Obama, “for the sake of the country”? The pulpits were strangely silent as the country slid into the abyss. Now that we are deep down the well, they would rally the troops to Trump, “hoping” he keeps his word, as if hoping for hope alone will make it float?

Many condemned McCain the secularist, and Romney the Mormon, tacitly approving Obama the anti-American/anti-Christian, and now they recommend we approve one far worse than any to avoid the more terrible than all? Their track record instills no confidence.

After all, pastors say, he is the nominee. We have no choice. He is a strong leader. He is a successful businessman. He beat out 16 other Republican candidates. Only Trump can defeat Clinton. To save the Supreme Court, to cancel the Iran nuke deal, restore the economy and protect our borders, we must elect Trump, if only to hope for change!

All the while they say we must hope and pray he keeps his word, adding we should not be too concerned about morality because after all, every leader has flaws. When they “hope” he is trustworthy, they show he is not. When they urge prayer for integrity, they reveal it is lacking. But remember, morality is really not the issue here. Ignore the fact the central problem is immorality. Why should pastors or others be concerned about morality? We are not electing a pastor! We can circle back to principles once we stop the bleeding. God is patient. He will wait while we work this out in our own strength and wisdom.

The pastors confess in all this we are in crisis management mode. We all look out at the circumstances realizing terrible events are unfolding directly ahead. People are panicking. Panic drives desperation and fear, and bad decisions. How ironic seeing shepherds encouraging stampede.

Traditionally, pastors recommend the God of love, especially in crisis. Not long ago, pastors directed our attention to the wisdom found in Scripture, urging fervent prayer for knowledge of God’s will. Not today. Rather, they recommend the perceived strong man, out of desperation, and fear, urging us to ignore his words, his behavior and his track record.

That’s not faith. It’s folly.

Image: Donald Trump via photopin (license); Gage Skidmore; CC BY-SA 2.0

Share if you agree it is folly for church leaders to place their “hope” in Donald Trump.

Allan Erickson

Allan Erickson---Christian, husband, father, journalist, businessman, screenwriter, and author of The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence, Tate Publishing, 2012.

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